Unsteady numerical simulation was performed with both single blade passage model and 4-blade passage model with ANSYS CFX software. Grid independence and turbulence model were verified by comparison with the experimental results. By transient numerical simulation, the time dependent parameters in tip area were analyzed. The typical vortex region was found near the blade suction side by relative vorticity strength. The pressure distributions at 90% span of the blades were compared. The mixing of tip leakage flow and the main flow was studied. 4-blade passage model simulation can capture circumferential difference in the centrifugal impeller. Periodic flow structures can be observed. Frequency analysis was performed on the pressure fluctuation in the blade tip. The effectiveness of 4-blade passage model in capturing the unsteady flow structures in the centrifugal impeller was demonstrated. The conclusion can provide guidance for stability analysis on the centrifugal impeller.

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